Indian Bullet train will be slightly modified to suit climatic conditions

The Indian version of the High-Speed Rail or the Bullet train will be slightly modified to suit the country’s climatic conditions with a stronger air conditioning system, as well as, different filtering system keeping in view of the high temperatures and dusty conditions in the country, as compared to the one operating in Japan, officials said on Sunday.

India is currently constructing the 508-km Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed rail corridor.

The National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL), which is executing the project linking the capitals of Maharashtra and Gujarat, believes the trains will have to be customised to suit the Indian conditions so that they run without any hassle.

Speaking to IANS, National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) spokesperson Sushma Gaur said: “The trains that run in Japan are built to handle outside temperature of up to 40 degrees Celsius. But here in India, and especially the section it will run in Maharashtra, the outside temperature can cross even 50 degrees. So, we will need some modifications for that.”

She further said that special provisions are also being made to combat dust.

“Keeping in view the environmental conditions in India, the air conditioners, blowers, and other important equipment fitted in the high speed trains will have different dust filters.”

The spokesperson added that the dust filters installed will work like a barrier and stop the dust entering inside the trains.

“This will be helpful in maintaining ambient air quality inside the trains. They will also safeguard the equipment from harmful dust mites and other pollutants,” Gaur said.

The NHSRCL has planned to procure E5 series of Shinkansen Bullet train rakes from Japan.

According to NHSRCL officials, India will procure 24 rakes of the E5 series.

They said that initially one train set will have 10 cars with seating capacity of 730 passengers.

However, in future 16 cars train set will be used depending on the traffic on the corridor and the train will have max operational speed of 320 km/h.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed rail corridor will have three types of seating arrangements in the train — first, business and standard.

The officials further said that there will be overhead luggage space in all the cars and the train will be aerodynamically designed.

They also pointed out that to improve speed, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability of high speed trains, it is important to reduce the aerodynamic drag of the trains.

“The long and sharp nose of high speed trains, besides other measures such as fairings all around the gaps between cars, side and bottom covers for coaches and other underframe mounted equipment; plays a vital role in reducing the aerodynamic drag. This scientifically designed nose of the train also reduces the blasting sound which is generated due to micro pressure waves created while the high speed train exits a tunnel,” the NHSRCL officials said.

Similar to the inspection trains such as ‘Dr Yellow’ (of Central Japan Railway), ‘Dr Avril’ (of Adif in Spain), East-i (of JR East), NHSRCL will also acquire an Inspection Train capable of running at 320 km/h for checking of track, overhead power supply system, signalling and communication infrastructure for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail.

“This train will be known as GIT (General Inspection Train) for India’s first HSR.”

The officials further said that the GIT will be equipped with the machinery and equipment to measure, monitor and inspect parameters of fixed infrastructure such as tracks, power supply, signalling and communication system.

The periodicity of GIT movement will depend on the inspection requirements involving various activities and for monitoring of fixed infrastructure.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his then counterpart Shinzo Abe had on September 14, 2017, laid the foundation stone for the ambitious Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) project.

The initial deadline to complete the project is December 2023.

The bullet trains are expected to run at 320 km per hour covering the 508-km stretch in about two hours.

In comparison, trains currently plying on the route take over seven hours to travel the distance, whereas flights take about an hour.

(Anand Singh can be contacted at